Sunday, June 17, 2007

Strings - Hotsteppers of the week!

To say that Strings are the ultimate role model for the new breed of musicians, as well as their contemporaries, would not be an overstatement. Even without an album out in four years, this is a band that has managed to keep its name alive and kicking. Media savvy, stylish and most importantly, evolving musicians – all these traits make them this week's Hotsteppers for Instep. And right now, they are once again climbing charts here as well as across the border with their fantastic new single, 'Aakhri Alvida' for the film, Shootout at Lokhandwala. And this is a big film to score. It features Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Abhishek Bachchan, Vivek Oberoi, Suniel Shetty, Arbaaz Khan, Tusshar Kapoor and Indian soap opera men, Shabbir Ahluwalia and Rohit Roy in pivotal roles. The fact that Sanjay Gupta approached them a second time around for a soundtrack just goes to show what an impact our impeccably dressed and well spoken lads made. What makes Strings such an example is perhaps their understanding of being 'distinct'. For those of you who have seen their new video, it is clear that theirs is not a video that has movie stills thrown in for good measure. These guys actually shot the video on the sets of Shootout at Lokhandwala. While speaking to Instep, Faisal Kapadia revealed that once a final take of a certain scene was shot, it was redone again just to accommodate Strings. Now that's what we call star power.

And this was not the first time that cool dudes Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood teamed up with producer/director Sanjay Gupta and Munnabhai Sanjay Dutt. It was with 'Zinda Hoon' for another Gupta-Dutt film that they first began their game in Bollywood. Even in that video, Strings got Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham to star in it. No other band in Pakistan has ever been able to do that. Our fascination and love for Bollywood makes Sanjay Dutt a household name. And when he's in a video and that of a Pakistani band, it gets noticed! Over the years, the only criticism drawn on Strings is their ability to perform live. But in the last year and a half, Strings have really turned its act around. Right now, they are one of the most rocking live acts in the country. For this reason that they have picked up their first nomination for Best Live Act at the Lux Style Awards this year.

Many critics argue that Dhaani cannot match the brilliance of Duur. But what makes Dhaani a wonderful album is its long-lasting value. Even an average Strings song is good especially when compared to the plethora of pop/rock outfits that the music industry seems to be churning out regularly.

India is the next step for any band that wants a wider audience. But not once have Strings compromised on their musical aesthetics for Bollywood. Be it 'Aakhri Alvida', 'Zinda Hoon' or 'Najaney Kyun', Strings have steered clear from letting their songs get distorted for a film. And it this reason that their songs standout in Bollywood where every second song sounds similar.

Ultimately, musicians like them who are a ray of hope for this India crazy music industry. Strings will come out with their fifth studio album this year. It will not disappoint. The music they're making now is classic, and so are they!


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